ST. PAUL (WCCO) — Since the shutdown has canceled any type of camping at State Parks, some have decided to camp out on Minnesota’s capitol lawn.
“We thought this would be an effective way to let lawmakers know how disappointed we are that the state parks are closed,” said Molly Pederson with Conservation Minnesota.
Conservation Minnesota, Sierra Club, Parks and Trails Council of Minnesota are some of the environmental groups behind this capitol camp out.
“Consistently, people come to Minnesota more and more for things like camping, wildlife watching and hunting,” said Pederson. “Just as many people come to fish as they do to come to the Mall of America.”
People are also invited to bring fishing rods and reels since the shutdown has stopped the sale of fishing licenses.
Tourism is an $11 billion industry to the state, according to the Minnesota Tourism Council. It provides over 245,000 full and part-time jobs. Nationally, Minnesota ranks 22nd in travel and spending, and 18th in travel-generated employment.
“We’re continually rated one of the most physically fit states in the country,” said Pederson. “That’s because of our access to the outdoors.”
The Rally for Minnesota’s Parks and Great Outdoors will run from 10 a.m. Saturday until 12 p.m.